Top 3 innovators of the National Education Challenge were announced in a ceremony that was held on Sunday through a video link by the Ignite – MoITT. Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui, Secretary IT & Telecom graced the event as chief guest on behalf of the Federal Minister for IT & Telecom Amin Ul Haq. The challenge was launched on the 18th of this month by the Ignite – MoITT through NIC Karachi to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 outbreak on education and literacy.
The top solution, Taleemabad clinched Rs. 1.5 million, the startup promises to increase engagement through different assessments that can be implemented on a daily basis which will help individuals to overcome daily life challenges. The first runner-up, Halla Gulla was awarded Rs. 1 million for their solution to address the importance of early childhood education and its impact on generating fast learning results besides building a strong foundation, and second runner-up, Nativ Learning received 0.5 million for expanding the rate of literacy by making education material available in native languages which are seamless to understand. The prize money has been awarded to these ingenious ideas as SEED Funding so that the young founders can further develop their products/solutions.
National Education Challenge received 150 applications from across Pakistan. 15 online training and mentoring sessions were conducted during the application phase to motivate innovators, educators, and technologists to participate in the challenge. Renowned tech educationists and industrialists Judged 150 ideas to select top 25 ideas which were further mentored by industry leaders to prepare them for pitching in the semi-final which was held on 26-27 June 2020. 10 ideas made to the grand finale to compete for the top 3 positions.
In his message, the Honorable Federal Minister for IT & Telecom, Amin ul Haq lauded the youth for coming up with innovative solutions that are designed to get the modern educational tool within the reach of all strata of society. He also congratulated Ignite and NIC Karachi for conducting a meaningful online – hackathon.
Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui, Secretary IT & Telecom said that we are geared up to transform every sector by implementing 4th Industrial Wave Tech. We should organize more innovation challenges and sprints to inspire the spirit of creating new solutions that can counter the adverse effects of COVID19 in Pakistan.
Syed Junaid Imam, CEO Ignite congratulated the winners and hoped to see them utilizing the SEED grants for developing their products/solutions with a meaningful impact. He also divulged the recent initiatives launched by Ignite such as funding for COVID centric health solutions, AgriSurge Challenge 2020 to find innovative solutions that can revolutionize the agriculture sector in Pakistan through the 4th Industrial Wave (4IW) tech.
The Director NIC Karachi Shahjahan Chaudhary said that we are physically locked down but we can use our creative and critical thinking skills to technologies and solutions that can revert the damages caused by the pandemic.